Steam, a video game digital distribution service, is no longer allowing blockchain-based games that involve non-fungible tokens (NFT) and cryptocurrency.
“Applications built on blockchain technology that issue or allow exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs,” are specified under the category “what you shouldn’t publish on Steam” on Steamworks’ onboarding page. The rule has been added this month.
SpacePirate Games, the studio behind a sci-fi action-adventure title called Age of Rust, spoke up about the rule on Twitter, saying Steam’s parent company Valve was kicking blockchain games off the platform “because NFTs have value.”
“We chose to be upfront about blockchain gaming & NFTs. As a result, we finally lost the battle with Steam,” it said, adding: Steam is not allowing those items on its platform that can have real-world value.
While this could be true, Valve allows people to exchange virtual goods for Steam Wallet funds through the community market.
While Steam is severing any ties with crypto, competitor Epic Games has announced that it is “open to games that support cryptocurrency or blockchain-based assets.”
While there will be some limitations when it comes to allowing games featuring NFTs, the company told The Verge that they are willing to work with “early developers” in the “new field.”
The Fortnite developer further said that the games would have to comply with financial laws and make it clear how the blockchain is actually used and need to have appropriate age ratings as well. Developers won’t be able to use Epic’s payment service to accept crypto either, and they would have to use their own payment systems.
Epic co-founder and CEO Tim Sweeney also took to Twitter to clarify that they welcome any blockchain-related games as the technology underpinning crypto “has utility whether or not a particular use of it succeeds or fails.”
“Epic Games Store will welcome games that make use of blockchain tech provided they follow the relevant laws, disclose their terms, and are age-rated by an appropriate group. Though Epic’s not using crypto in our games, we welcome innovation in the areas of technology and finance,” he wrote on Twitter.
Interestingly, just late last month, Sweeney had said that they “aren’t touching NFTs as the whole field is currently tangled up with an intractable mix of scams.” While there are “interesting decentralized tech foundations,” it is also rife with scams, he had said.
But now, he has made a U-turn to compete with Valve by announcing support for something that the company baned.
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